Prison-breaks, Nessie and special celebrations – take a trip back in time

A group of pupils from Twechar School are pictured during a school trip to Edinburgh in 1958, when they visited the city's castle.
A group of pupils from Twechar School are pictured during a school trip to Edinburgh in 1958, when they visited the city's castle.

Down Memory Lane – Kirkintilloch Herald – September 25, 2013

September 22, 1993

Lowmoss Prison was ordered to improve security by prison inspectors after a series of recent break-outs by prisoners.

Details of the recommendations were being kept hush, hush, but the news was welcomed by local residents concerned about safety.

In an otherwise positive report, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons also criticised catering standards.

The prison was commended for carrying out widescale improvements to the former RAF camp, which was converted in 1969.

It also highlighted the excellent employment facilites for prisoners, good discipline, “a lively atmosphere” and the commitment of staff and prisoners in the addiction unit.

September 28, 1983

A Mount Ellen schoolgirl was hoping that a story she wrote could be helping Britain’s most famous baby to nod off at night.

Nicola Howatt (12) won a competition to have her tale ‘Nessie, the lonely Loch Ness Monster’ included in a book of ‘Stories for a Prince’ - to mark Prince William’s first birthday.

Only 14 stories had been chosen out of more than 7,500 entries and Nicola, a pupil at Chryston Primary, also won a trip down to London to meet the Princess of Wales and a cheque for £50. Her school received a £100 funding boost.

The book was set to raise money for charity the Royal National Institute for the Blind, to produce braille books and was sponsored by the Heinz Food Company.

September 26, 1973

Two Kirkintilloch sisters were celebrating their respective Ruby Wedding Anniversaries on opposite sides of the globe.

Annie and Mary Hutchison both married on September 22, 1933 - in the same church and by the same minister.

Annie and husband William Gilmour settled in the town and had four children, while Mary emigrated to New Zealand with George Griffith.

The two couples had been reunited a year earlier, when Mary and George returned to Scotland for a visit, but would be marking their anniversary separately.

And globe-trotting seemed to run in the family - with the Gilmours’ eldest son living in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia.

September 25, 1963

Residents were getting ready to be hit in the pocket after it was announced that Kirkintilloch rates would be rising by two per cent from the beginning of October.

But James Thomson, Kirkintilloch Town Council’s treasurer, insisted it could have been worse had a surplus of over £30,000 not been used to soften the blow.

He said the rising cost of education, police and services paid for by the County Council was responsible for the increase.

The new rate of 21 shillings and six pence included the water rate and would be paid in a lump sum or in instalments in November, January and March - an option more than 400 residents had previously taken.

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